Boulder City - Island 3
At a Glance
• Max depth: 50 meters
• Level of difficulty: Advanced
• Visibility: Between ten and thirty
• Current: Moderate to strong
• Season: October - May
As there are no other visible landmarks Boulder City is only marked by buoy lines and the main pinnacle of the site is down at around fourteen metres.
There is another mooring on the west side of the dive site which drops down to around eighteen metres.
This site is more for the experienced divers, so you tend not to get the Day Trip boats coming here. The Liveaboard companies like to use this as the last dive or first dive of their four-day trips.
Boulder city is decorated with large sized granite boulders scattered along the bottom there are many smaller boulders to root around.
The sandy areas have corals with both hard and soft varieties and the currents here can be strong at times and check what the tide is doing when you dive is a very good strategy.
The nine island that makes up the Similans are not all open to the public. Island one, two and three are closed for conservations reasons.
The dive sites of Boulder City and Shark Fin Reef are the closest any boats are allowed to the three islands, and these islands have been closed for years now.
Other dive sites :
As the current can be strong here it does make it exciting as the predatory fish love the currents for hunting, they can really pick up the pace and smash into the hapless baitfish -keep your eyes peeled for the Trevallies, Tuna and Mackerels even Barracuda love it here.
I recommend using the boulders for protection from the current when you can and heading south towards the other main pinnacle which drops to about twenty-five metres.
There is a large sandy bottom where it is possible to find rays and sleeping Leopard Sharks you can also expect to be greeted by large schools of colourful fish such as Fusiliers and Snappers.
You can spot some very old and large Gorgonian Sea fans on the sandy bottom also Red Fire & Purple Fire Gobies call Boulder city home.
Another popular critter to spot out on the sand are the garden Eels, the Similans has a huge variety of fish and everything does seem bigger here including the fish look out for the Oriental Sweetlips, large Groupers and Emperor Angelfish the juveniles of this particular species are beautiful.
Carrying on the dive among the hard corals at about eighteen metres you can find Barracudas Surgeonfish and the bizarre Unicorn fish you may also bump into a school of Longfin Bannerfish. It is also possible here for Manta Rays to give you a fly by.
While you are at the safety stop you may also encounter some very curious fish batfish love to get real close to divers and check them out. in general, this can be a demanding dive site at times, but it is wonderful to keep your eyes on your depth and time and watch the current.